World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Union and Azerbaijan have agreed to renew a partnership deal aimed at closer cooperation in energy issues, including reducing dependency on Russia.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, made a joint press appearance Monday in Brussels, announcing a "new framework" updating the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Baku and the EU.
Tusk praised Azerbaijan as a "significant country" for Europe’s energy security and diversification of energy supplies.
He said both parties were mutually committed to the Southern Gas Corridor, planned infrastructure projects to carry Caspian natural gas to Europe.
"It is a key priority for both sides," Tusk said.
The Southern Gas Corridor includes three major pipeline projects: the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline through Azerbaijan and Georgia, the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural gas Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey and the construction of The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) through Greece, Albania and into Italy.
"The Southern Gas Corridor project is a project of energy security and energy diversification. And when I say diversification, I mean not only the routes, but also resources," Aliyev told the press conference.
"Europe is our major investor and main trade partner. We supply oil to some European countries and we hope that we will soon provide natural gas," he added.